Cooking can be a great challenge in college. Not only can it be difficult to find time to cook and grocery shop, but it can be hard to do so on a budget. One of the best solutions is to make sure you always have certain essential ingredients on hand. The following five items are ones that you will use frequently, giving the best value for your money and ensuring that the food you buy gets used each week.
While spices may not be the first ingredient you think of, they are one of the most valuable and budget-friendly for any kitchen. Since you only need a little pinch for most recipes, spices will last you a long time and be worth the money you spend on them. They are an inexpensive way to add flavor and creativity to your meals.
2. Olive Oil
Olive Oil is an absolute essential for any cook, and you will use it frequently. It can be used to cook pasta, roast vegetables, in sauces, or for frying. Its uses are endless, it adds flavor to your food, and it is also known to have a variety of health benefits.
3. Frozen Vegetables
When pressed for time but still looking to have a good meal, frozen vegetables are a great choice. You can keep them for long amounts of time without them going bad, unlike fresh vegetables. Frozen vegetables are also known to have even more nutrients than fresh vegetables, making them a healthier option.
Whether you prefer chicken, fish, or red meat, it is important to have enough protein each day. Adding protein to any meal will help to make it heartier and fill you up. You can buy frozen meats that will last until you are ready to cook them, and they can be made easily in the oven or on the stovetop. Since protein is so important to the diet, they should be an essential part of your weekly shopping list.
5. Pasta or Rice
Carbs such as pasta or rice can be bought in large packages and last for several meals. They give you great flexibility when cooking on your own since you can combine them with any meat, vegetable, or sauce. Both can be made easily and will help you come up with more creative meals.
Always have these five essentials stocked in your pantry, and you will be able to create budget-friendly meals quickly and easily!
Lindsay T. is a writer for Skyo, an online site helping college students save money with cheap textbooks and flexible textbook rentals. Visit www.skyo.com today to buy textbooks online and find more ways to save money on a college budget.